This time last year I looked at the mobile sites for the UK’s top 20 retailers to see which offered the best checkout process.
I found that there were a number of common flaws, such as forced registration, but in general the standard was quite high.
However I was also surprised to see that eight of the retailers were still relying on desktop sites.
As 12 months has now passed I thought it would be interesting to see whether the situation had changed at all and find out which retailers have made an effort to upgrade their sites.
A month ago, I wrote a post questioniong whether Primark was mad to ignore ecommerce, after it had said it had no plans to sell online.
Strangely, for a post and discussion on an internet marketing blog, the general consensus was that Primark's offline only strategy was a good idea for such a low margin retailer.
Yesterday however, Primark started selling a limited range of clothes via ASOS. So is this a good idea?
Checkout abandonment is inevitable on ecommerce sites as the plain truth is that some people simply aren’t ready to make a purchase.
However there are certain steps that sites can implement to limit the number of customers that dropout during the checkout phase.
The basic aim is to make it as simple as possible for your customers to hand over their cash, which means limiting the amount of form filling and offering shortcuts wherever possible.
We’ve been keen exponents of Google Hangouts for some time here at Econsultancy as they’re a great way of sharing content and promoting our brand.
In recent weeks we’ve hosted several Hangouts as part of our preparations for Integrated Marketing Week which has helped us to identify and iron out a few bugs with the system.
Our head of social Matt Owen has become something of an expert on Hangouts as a result and yesterday blogged his tips for hosting a successful event.
Currently I feel that Hangouts are one of the few reasons for bothering with G+ as user interaction with brand updates is generally extremely low.
And on the same theme, here are six examples of other brands that have been experimenting with Google Hangouts...
Video sharing app Vine turned 100 days old last week and according to new research it has proved to be quite the success.
Data from Unruly shows that five Vine clips are shared every second on Twitter and branded Vines are four times more likely to be shared than branded online videos.
It’s also interesting to note that weekends are the most popular time to share Vines and in most cases they are more popular than all the previous weekdays combined.
We’ve previously looked at fashion brands and football teams that have begun using Vine, as well as highlighting both good and bad uses of the platform.
Product returns are a major problem for online retailers as each unwanted order obviously incurs a cost, which then raises the dilemma of who is to pay for postage.
Passing the cost onto customers is certain to put people off ordering again in future, but absorbing the cost might not be feasible for all businesses.
Ideally retailers should try and reduce the need to return items in the first place, and we’ve previously written about a shoe fitting app that reduced fit-related returns by 23%.
Now ASOS has launched a new tool, Virtusize, that has the potential to achieve an even greater rate of success, as it has already proven to reduce fit-related returns by up to 50% on other ecommerce sites.
Twitter is a brilliant tool for communicating with consumers and when used effectively can be a great way of building customer loyalty.
In recent weeks I’ve come across a number of brands that have excellent Twitter strategies and several that I thought were less impressive.
This could be because they were dull, unimaginative or simply weren’t living up to their potential.
So to shine some light on the differences between those brands getting it right and those that perhaps aren’t, here are five good and four bad examples of brands using Twitter...
The value of online transactions in China reached $190 billion in 2012 and the country is predicted to overtake the US as the world’s largest ecommerce market at some point this year.
So it’s no surprise that European businesses are eager to try and break into the marketplace.
As with any ecommerce market, search is a vital source of building brand awareness and attracting traffic in China. This means you have to optimise your site for Baidu which has around 83% market share.
Baidu recently signed a deal with CharmClick that gives the company exclusive rights as a resale agent in Europe, which subsequently partnered with Net Media Planet for Baidu ad sales in the UK and Ireland.
New mobile sites are normally a big deal for ecommerce retailers, but ASOS recently updated its m-commerce store without the need for any fanfare.
I can’t find any official announcements about the redesign other than a tweet from director James Hart.
ASOS has been one of the major success stories in ecommerce and we frequently highlight its services and innovations as examples of industry best practice.
And as we previously reviewed the company’s first mobile site back in 2010 it seems a good time to revisit the site and see how it’s changed, so I took it for a test run using my Samsung Galaxy S2...
Successful email marketing relies on a large customer database, so attracting new signups should be a high priority for most businesses.
Research shows that around half (49%) of consumers are signed up to receive emails from between one and 10 brands, while 8% don’t receive any at all, so one of the main challenges for email marketers is getting into the inbox in the first place.
There are several tactics that brands can use to encourage consumers to signup to email newsletters, including explicitly highlighting the value of the emails through testimonials or a clear statement of subscription benefits, and using a clear signup process.
We’ve previously looked at best practices for improving email deliverability, as well as highlighting seven tips for managing email marketing campaigns.
And here are 10 tips and examples of how to improve your email signups...